I’ve been trying to whip out more of these mini-sites. They’re a lot harder than they look. In theory, I should be able to whip out about three or four of these mini-sites every day and get them to the point where they’re making a couple bucks a month. In practice, though, these sites just aren’t taking less than a half-day to do. Even with all of the components outsourced through oDesk, it still feels amazingly slow.
Sidenote about outsourcing… certain things can be easily and successfully outsourced to super-cheap offshore developers. Those things are graphics, translations and coding. Don’t try to outsource content writing. I just got around to actually READING what I put up on the How To Play Darts website I blogged about in the last post. What a load of drivel! It’s obvious that the writer was in some foreign development sweat shop writing in her fourth or fifth language. But whatever… the search engines aren’t smart enough yet to figure out that the content is weak and I just don’t want to write an article about what happens when a dart falls out of the dartboard.
So today’s effort is www.Smoothies.tv, and is about how to make the perfect smoothie. No, I didn’t write any of the content… this time paid some college grad $15/hr to whip out a few of them. I think she did a pretty decent job, especially when she’s going through some of the options about smoothie franchises. There’s a couple youtube videos up on there and some recipes, a few reviews of good blenders for making smoothies at home, and lots of links to smoothie blogs and bloggers.
Sidenote about domain extensions… don’t make a habit of investing in weird extensions like .tv or .info. In the domain industry, the common wisdom is heard all the time on the forums “.COM is KING”. It’s common wisdom for a reason… most people who invest money in weird extensions would do a lot better sticking that money into the .com extension. One reason why you should generally stay away from .tv domain names is because they are quite a bit more expensive to renew every year. I believe GoDaddy charges almost $40/yr for a .tv domain, as opposed to less than $10/yr for a .com. Also, search engines love the .com extension and generally ignore everything else.
The wordpress template is called Banana Smoothie and fit the mini-site like a glove. I don’t like too much banana in my smoothies, and I think strawberry or blueberry would have been a prettier design choice. But I’m not complaining… it’s a free template and I didn’t even have to look for it because it came prepackaged in my WordPress installation.
So here is my cost analysis for Smoothies.tv :
$80 – Domain Registration so far (two years)
$22.50 – Four articles, 400 words each
1 hour – Installing WordPress, matching the theme, entering content
2 hours – Fiddling with .php to include Google adsense code, amazon links, and analytics code
1 hour – Managing copywriter and writing this blog
So in order to break even, this new smoothies website has to make about 13 cents a day and to recover my investment so far in any sort of reasonable timeframe, it will have to do more like a quarter a day.